Oh, How The Truth Hurts

I begin this post unsure as to whether I will even publish it. For while I share a lot of my life here, I try to avoid venting about those times family members piss me off. We all have various family drama’s that play out from time to time. After all, sharing DNA with someone doesn’t guarantee that we will always see eye to eye.

I understand that. I once heard that the ultimate compliment we can pay our family is the knowledge that even if we had no blood ties, we would still want to be friends with them. And sadly, sometimes, I don’t know if I can say that.

I do want to make it clear that I am not talking about my Husband and children. In actual fact, I feel that they are the only ones who are even on my team. I really feel that I have their love, support, understanding, and forgiveness. No matter what.

But not so with everyone.

Because it seems that in some families, “truth” is a difficult pill to swallow. I’m not talking about hysterical screaming matches where the truth is used to wound. I’m talking about betraying someone’s confidence while keeping other people’s petty little secrets. Keeping a family event a secret from you because you are not invited. Not that you expected to be, not that you would have gone, and not that you care in the slightest. There is no anger or issues of any kind at not getting an invite. So why do other people feel they should hide the knowledge from you? Because they would rather protect other (more important?) family members, and are not concerned with your feelings. Okay. But what about when another member of this wonderful family of yours flat out lies about their plans for that day? You try to organise a get together and they claim they plan to stay home and relax? And then someone else at the party posts a picture on Instagram where you can clearly see this person (so in need of a day at home to relax), in the background.

What about when you share personal health details with someone you trust, and don’t feel the need to ask them to keep it quiet? Should I then feel pissed when I get phone calls from other people in the family who have mis-understood the issues and are now concerned for me? Hmm…well, I do feel pissed.

Because let’s get this straight for a second.

You share my private health details with anyone you choose, but keep a silly birthday party a big secret? And someone I credited for their honesty and integrity, actually lies about it.

Yep. I’m pissed.

So I made my feelings clear to the person I felt most aggrieved by. I told them that it was hypocritical. I called them two faced. I may have been petty in pointing out the double standards always at play, but I did it anyway. I didn’t scream, I didn’t get hysterical. I thought I could tell this person honestly and openly that they have hurt my feelings. I thought I could say, “what you did was wrong”, but alas, it seems not.

Because my phone has been silent for the last two weeks.

Are they waiting for an apology? It seems like it. And not because I want to be stubborn and drag this out, but it’s not going to happen. I have had time to reflect on what I said, and it still stands. It’s one set of rules for me and another for everyone else. Seems like what is acceptable in my family is the let’s-pretend version of life, and not the truth.

I now feel that in order to keep things all pretty and happy in the future I have to forfeit my right to speak my mind. My honest, blunt opinions are not welcome. My family love me as long as I don’t ever expect them to be honest with themselves, or with me.

How do I feel about that? My first reaction is f**k that. But I know I will play along because life is too short, blah blah blah. I was raised to be a good girl. The good little Croatian wife and mother who walks the same path as everyone else, never thinks outside the square, never puts a toe out of line, and never causes any ripples in that tiny little world.

Well, I find that role harder to play the older I get. And my Husband, whose opinion matters to me more than all the others combined, doesn’t want me to play those games either. He has always been honest, consequences be damned. And my grown children are not blind. They too see the hypocrisy, the double standards. They too urge me to stand strong, to stand proud. And that means more to me than I can ever describe.

As for the rest? Well, sad to say, but I know it will never change. They will never change.

And I will keep pretending it’s okay.

Ana.

  1. You know, life is ALSO too short to spend time with people who bring us down, who are unsupportive, and who have chosen to live their lives so very different from us and therefore have little, if nothing, in common. Being born into the same family does not cause love between people – growing relationships, built on TRUST and CARE do!
    I have had to pray long and hard for years on this very matter and just this past summer we stopped going to certain family members get-togethers. We have not snubbed them or fought, simply decided we’d rather spend our holidays experiencing joy and peace, than the hurt feelings and snobbery that goes on there. And let me tell you how awesome the Christmas season this year was! I could go on, but I won’t.
    I’m sorry you’ve been angered/offended (I would be too) and I hope you and your family (hubby and kids) can find a way to resolve it all. ❤ (Sorry to have written a book here!)

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    1. Books are good!
      It’s hard when it’s the people who you think will be on your “side”. It hurts and then for them to be so blase is what is hardest. Oh well, nothing I can really do. I took some time out from it all about seven or eight years ago, and it wasn’t any easier. Thanks for the comment 🙂

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  2. I want to reply to so many aspects of what you said, but I’ll try to keep it concise.

    I think that you are clearly a different sort of person to a lot of people in your family. Your views are more evolved, your confidence with the person you are is obvious and you’re not afraid to let people know where you stand on things.

    I think what hurts in this situation is that you expected this person to have a lot more credibility than they actually do. You held them up to the same standard that you do for yourself or your husband. The fact is (and I know CRoatians) is that people are so fucking stuck in their old-fashioned backwards ways that they are actually not worth your time.

    Good riddance to this person. It’s not worth letting people like this make you miserable. Just be authentic. Be yourself, don’t change because of a few ‘seljaci’.

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    1. Kristy, you know how it is with this mentality. I may have lit a fuse by hitting publish, but I stand by what I say. But I’m not sure if that will be forgiven. I just can’t pretend all the time. Thanks for the comments.

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  3. Oh I hear you loud and clear, but I can’t even get as far as writing about this on my blog! There are certain inlaws (not my MIL/FIL) who often do things to annoy the crap out of me…and it does get harder to keep your mouth shut as you get older! Sometimes, I’ve cracked and said a few choice words but at the end of the day, I end up retreating or whatever you call it, and they continue doing what they’ve always done. I seriously think some are really needy – and crave attention and need to be the centre of the universe! At the end of the day, you’re being the mature person even though you want the world to wake up and see the situation for what it is!!

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    1. Cathy this was a hard one to publish. I have had a draft for days, and I kept going back and reading it. In the end I stand by it all. I have tried not to blog about things like this, and I have tried to keep the relationships vague, but it’s just REALLY bugging me! Thanks for understanding. xxx

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  4. I don’t have advice (as we don’t speak to my husbands side of the family at all). But I will say I’m really sorry to hear you have family that you cannot be honest with.

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    1. Thank you. It’s not a fun situation.

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  5. You are a braver woman than I am, by far. I could barely even post my “if you give a mouse a cookie” rant. I just knew some friends/family would see it and take it how it wasn’t intended, and others would take it for exactly what I meant, and I would have twice as many people mad at me for finally speaking up.
    As far as this person who has offended you, it’s easy to tell you to just say “good riddance,” but if this person can effect you to the point of being this upset, you likely do love and care for this person immensely. Family dynamics are difficult obstacles, and it seems like the Croationness throws an even bigger loop in it. I’m sorry that you’re going through this.
    I wonder if you can tell this person something to the effect of “I love you, and I don’t want this to drive a wedge between us, and I really didn’t even care about the party, but we need to be able to speak to each other openly, including (and maybe even especially) when we feel wronged or hurt by one another without getting defensive and shutting the other down…” I don’t know how much reason this person will listen to, hopefully some at least.

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    1. You have hit the nail on the head. Good riddance is not an option, but it’s the communication that’s a problem. Not sure where it’s all at now, tbh.

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  6. Sorry you are going through this. Family issues are the most difficult.

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    1. They certainly are. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. It is difficult sometimes to know whether to publish such thoughts but after awhile you built quite a bond with your blogging family that you want to turn to them for support and understanding. They “get” what your real life friends and family may not. Unfortunately, blogging is also a public arena so there is that tension of wanting to share how you feel but being unsure of sticking it out there. I am always in favour of mending fences but there are times when you need to cut your losses. When people in your life are toxic and must be avoided.

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    1. I don’t want to cut my losses here, I hoped to open up communication. Not sure where things are tbh.

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